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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

October 24, 2003

CHANGING CLOCKS?  CHANGE BATTERIES IN SMOKE, CO DETECTORS 

Charlotte, NC - With cooler nights here, many of us have already turned on our furnaces for the first time this season.  And as we prepare to "fall back" to Eastern Standard Time this weekend, the Mecklenburg County Health Department, Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal's Office and the City of Charlotte Fire Department encourage everyone to take the opportunity to add new batteries to smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms.

There is also a new carbon monoxide ordinance covering dwellings in Mecklenburg County.  On October 8, 2003, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed revisions to the Carbon Monoxide Regulation. Effective January 1, 2004, all dwelling units whether owned or leased, regardless of the source of energy used in the dwelling unit and regardless of whether the dwelling unit has an attached garage must now contain at least one operable Carbon Monoxide Alarm.

How will the new rules affect you?

· CO alarms are required in all new dwellings.
· Requires alarms to have battery power or battery back-up.
· Includes manufactured homes.
· Requires existing homeowners to install alarms by Jan. 1, 2004 (enforcement would begin on July 1, 2004).
· Requires landlords to install alarms by Jan. 1, 2005.
· Requires landlords to provide alarms before signing new leases or renewals.

The current ordinance only covers residences with fossil fuel burning furnaces or appliances, or attached garages.  The new, expaded ordinance takes effect January 1, 2004.  Carbon monoxide alarms are available at most hardware, home improvement and discount stores for between $20 and $40. Residents of Mecklenburg County who cannot afford to buy a carbon monoxide alarm can apply for a free alarm by calling City-County Customer Service at 704-336-7600. Callers must be prepared to give their full name, home address and home telephone number. Each resident's income will be verified and an alarm installed.

For more information on the carbon monoxide ordinance check out our Web site at www.carbonmonoxide1.com



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